I love talking to people in the conscious living community about what it was that triggered them to lead this lifestyle - what their 'way in' was, if they experienced an 'ah-ha' moment and at what point they released there was no turning back. In my experience, this process tends to follow a similar pattern. So I decided to take a look at the various stages of transitioning to a conscious lifestyle.
1. Hmm.. I should read up on that.
The 'way in'. This can be when someone close to you says something that makes you think, like a friend mentioning a fact or statistic that you've never heard before. Perhaps a colleague starts using less plastic and it made you ask - why? For me, it was becoming friends with a vegan, who convinced me to watch Cowspiracy. Either way, things aligned which meant you were ready to hear a different side of the story and you were ready to listen.
2. Okay, everything I believed was a lie.
"I can't believe I didn't know about this?! What else is going on that I don't know about?" After watching that documentary you were recommended or reading that article your colleague forwarded to you, you realise there was so much you didn't know. At this point, you are seriously confused and shocked by the fact that you didn't know this stuff was going on in the world. You feel like you've been sold a lie (and you have).
3. Must. Know. More.
You watch every documentary on Netflix in order to educate yourself. You fact check each one, just to be sure it's the truth. You download podcasts, read books and spend half your time at work on The Guardian Environment. One thing leads to another and it's not long before you can recite environmental facts on cue.
4. Humans are the worst.
"How did we end up in this position? How are those corporations getting away with this?! What is wrong with humanity!" Confusion turns into rage - why are we, as a global society, letting these environmental and human injustices continue? Why don't more people care about the planet, people and animals?
5. We’re all fucked.
This stage is unavoidable. With every new headline you feel more and more helpless and you decide that humanity is doomed. It's overwhelming and it's upsetting. By now, you know you'll never see the world the same way again. This stage is tough - but it doesn't last forever.
6. Ok, what can I do about it?
After a period of feeling helpless and depressed, you start to feel ready to accept things for what they are and turn despair into action. You realise it’s physically impossible to take on the entire world’s problems and try and solve them. You feel empowered by your newly acquired knowledge and decide that making changes to your lifestyle can help tackle global issues. You feel comfortable in your new view of the world, and ready to spread the word far and wide, empowering others to start their journey to a more conscious lifestyle.